Bank of America today released the fall 2012 Small Business Owner Report, a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners across the country. The survey, which includes an oversampling of small business owners across the Atlanta market, found the majority of Atlanta small business owners are planning on sustaining or growing their business over the next 12 months. Specifically, more than one-third (36 percent) plan to hire more employees, while 50 percent expect their staffing needs will remain consistent.
In addition, more than half (58 percent) of the Atlanta small business owners surveyed anticipate that revenue will increase in 2013, while only seven percent expect revenue to decline. However, this optimism is tempered by their views on the economy, with only 42 percent of Atlanta small business owners confident that their local economy will improve over the next 12 months. Respondents were even less confident in the national (41 percent) and global economies (30 percent) improving in that same period.
The significance of Atlanta’s local economy
The study also shows that the local economy has the greatest impact on Atlanta small business owners. More than half (53 percent) reported that the majority of their customers come from their local community, compared to 36 percent who indicated that their customers come primarily from outside their local community but within the U.S. Only 3 percent indicated that the majority of their customers come from outside the U.S.In addition, Atlanta’s small business owners believe that the local and national economies play a significant role in their business (both 74 percent), followed by 46 percent who believe the global economy has a substantial impact. “The success of our small business community in Atlanta and that of the local economy are very closely linked,” said Felicia Lewis, Small Business Banker manager in Atlanta for Bank of America. “What small business owners need is expertise that is grounded for their local market and unique needs, and that’s what Bank of America is committed to providing. We want small business owners to have the guidance necessary to grow and reach their business goals in 2013.”